School Nutrition Policy Glossary Term Nov 29-09

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					                                                                                                    November 29-09 draft

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                                       School Nutrition Policy Glossary Term

“School nutrition policy” includes policies, laws, regulations/by-laws and formal procedures
promoted, adopted and implemented by national agencies/federal departments, health, education
and other provincial/territorial ministries, health authorities and school boards, schools and
professional guidelines/codes of conduct established relevant professions. Such policy-making
organizations are governed by elected officials or appointed trustees who are required to report
regularly to the public. Other agencies, such as schools or appointed officials can establish
procedures, practices or programs that are similar to policy, but since they are not directly
accountable to the public, they cannot be defined as public policy.

Most current research and popular references to “school nutrition policy” are actually referring to
regulations on food sales and services in schools. However, school nutrition policy should be
established in school, public health and other systems to cover several other topics, including:

        Overall philosophy, goals for nutrition, diet, healthy eating
        Defined roles/goals for their agency and employees as well as their role in working with
        Food Security/School Meals
        Food services in schools (Minimum requirements for cafeterias, school meal programs,
         food handlling)
        Height & Weight Screening on school entry
        Nutrition education (Guidelines, obligatory and recommended learning objectives,
         obligation to inform parents)
        Nutritionist/Dietitian services (eg early identification and referral procedures, counselling
         services for overweight/obese children, role of community nutritionist in working with
        Restricting or reducing sales of competitive (unhealthy) foods
        Promoting or subsidizing sales of healthy foods in schools
        Food Safety
        Food Allergies
        Food Production (Use of transfat, additives, food imports. modified food etc)
        Policies related to Social Norms (eg · advertising food to children near schools, food sales
         to children on outlets near schools, food at school events for children & parents, · fund
         raising activities involving children, sponsorship by food companies or food industries,
         school recognition programs, school gardening programs)

Many groups such as the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the Society for Nutrition
Education (SNE), and the American School Food Service Association (ASFSA) take the position
that comprehensive nutrition services should be integrated with a coordinated, comprehensive
school health program and implemented through a school nutrition policy. In this definition, we
                                                                             November 29-09 draft

suggest that SN policy should guide all of the programs, practices and services that comprise this
comprehensive approach as well as be a specific component of that approach.

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